LONDON, Aug, 2011 (AFP) - Force India chief Vijay Mallya has acclaimed the efforts of his team and drivers for putting together a highly-encouraging run of results in this year's Formula One world championship.
The team owner and boss said he felt very proud, describing the Force India efforts as remarkable - particularly that of German Adrian Sutil who produced a season's best finish of sixth at the German Grand Prix.
His rookie team-mate, Briton Paul Di Resta, then finished seventh at last Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix to prove 'anything you can do....'
The results meant that Force India closed to within nine points of sixth-placed Sauber in the constructors' championship as the F1 circus departed for its summer break - it is due to re-start in Belgium at the end of the month.
Mallya said: "At the end of the day, it's the results that count and I'm very encouraged and very happy. "Our development work through the season is obviously paying off. The car is getting better and more competitive and easier to drive.
"The drivers are highly motivated and clearly they are putting in their very best. In Germany it was Adrian and in Hungary, Paul. I am very happy for them both.
"It is true that we had a slow start to the season, because I think the first few flyaway races were just an extension of our development programme.
"But once we got going from the European season onwards, particularly from Monaco, we've improved at almost every race.
"These last few races, where we have qualified in Q3, say it all. To be in the top 10 in such a fiercely competitive field is quite remarkable, and quite satisfying."
He added that he believed the nature of the up-coming Spa-Francorchamps and Monza circuits should mean Force India will continue performing strongly.
He said: "The car is going to be quick, I think. If you look at the sector maximum speeds in the race in Hungary, in S1 Adrian was the quickest, and in S3, Paul was the quickest.
"So this car has pace, but it also has good down-force to handle the corners as well. I'll be looking forward to Spa -- and hopefully a strong showing."
Like all Force India fans, he could not forget the day in 2009 in Belgium when the team enjoyed pole position and a podium finish.
He recalled: "It was an absolutely fantastic moment to see the car in pole position in 2009 and Giancarlo Fisichella on the podium.
"But that car could only go very fast in a straight line and pretty much didn't do very much else! Now it's doing everything that's asked of it, irrespective of the track. I think that's a better position to be in."
He took care not to talk of events too far ahead - including the forthcoming inaugural Indian Grand Prix at the end of October when, he hopes, his team can give home fans plenty to cheer.